Why Millennials Don’t Trust Your Brand
Why Millennials Don’t Trust Your Brand

First thing’s first, let’s address the elephant in the room.

Yes, I’m a millennial.

I’m also a marketer with a background in mobile ad gamification, macro-influencer marketing, and now, micro-influencer marketing. And with millennials on track to account for $1.4 trillion in spending by 2020, I hear so much speculation about what drives purchasing decisions for people like me.

Is it our disdain for large corporations?

Are we jaded after watching the economy collapse?

Or just plain burned out after growing up on TV adverts for breakfast cereal?

(And btw, why don’t we eat breakfast cereal?)

Look, we could spend days trying to make sense of the insane amount of hype that shrouds my generation — but that’d be a waste of time.

The truth is, 76% of millennials see business as a force for positive social impact. And an astounding 89% of “super-connected millennials” are some of the business world’s strongest advocates.

My advice? Don’t overthink it.

There’s no good reason you can’t win with millennials.

What Matters to Millennials

Millennials are on social media for two main reasons: social proof and engagement.

In fact, 82% of millennials seek other’s opinions and reviews before buying. I do this myself for almost every purchase. And of course, social media is the first place I look. But as every digital marketer knows too well, there’s a lot of competition on social and the cost of paid adverts will continue to rise.

If you want to cut through the noise, there’s only one way: Engage us.

Why Millennials Love Micro-Influencers

It’s great to discover super targeted ads bringing us amazing products we didn’t know existed. And it’s fun to see our favorite celebs posting from private jets en route to Coachella. But there’s always that part of us that thinks, “Yeah, right. That’ll never be me.”

Enter the micro-influencer. These guys offer us a dream we can put our hands on. They’re our local yogini, the MUA with all the best tips, and the vegan food blogger who knows it’s got to taste good. As a millennial on Instagram, I may not be able to jet off to Indio, but I can go have brunch at the same place as the cool girl down the street, an hour after she did. (Plus, I know she’ll comment back when I say ‘I 💜 their granola!’. Would Kim K. do that?)

Post in result to photo above: Like most millennials, I do almost all my shopping on Instagram. Kudos to @ultraviolence_blog for posting about this amazing body wash. Love it! #latestpurchase #micro-influencers #rule

Where Most Brands Miss the Mark

Millennials aren’t influenced by TV, radio or print adverts, and taking a broadcast approach to social media marketing just won’t cut it.

And Instagram knows that. Since the algorithm change, engagement is the only metric that matters. But unfortunately, many brands still haven’t caught on. They post poor quality content or don’t invest the time and resources it takes to deliver a consistent message. To be honest, I understand. Marketing evolves at lightspeed and if you don’t immediately see results, it’s tempting to write it off altogether.

But we millennials can tell in a blink when a brand is doing it right, and we can tell just as quickly when they’re missing the mark.

The brands who are winning on social are the ones who reply to comments, repost relevant content, work with all sizes of influencers, and take full advantage of the And of course, having a tribe of micro-influencers eager to vouch for your product goes a long way. Because the truth is, we are a little skeptical. But we’re also on your side.

Want to learn more about how to attract millennials on Instagram? Drop me a line at caroline@takumi.com.